Last time that an Eph was mentioned in the lead story of the Drudge Report? Today!

An editorial written by Republican presidential hopeful McCain has been rejected by the NEW YORK TIMES — less than a week after the paper published an essay written by Obama, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

The paper’s decision to refuse McCain’s direct rebuttal to Obama’s ‘My Plan for Iraq’ has ignited explosive charges of media bias in top Republican circles.

‘It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece,’ NYT Op-Ed editor David Shipley explained in an email late Friday to McCain’s staff. ‘I’m not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written.’

Shipley is class of 1985 and the former husband of Naomi Wolf. I assume that he, or some other Eph editor, is the reason that Professor Jay Pasachoff gets so many letters published on the op-ed page.

Shipley, who is on vacation this week, explained his decision not to run the editorial.

‘The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans.’

Shipley continues: ‘It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq.’

Developing…

Doesn’t McCain define victory the way the rest of us do? Al-Qaeda out of Iraq, no more civil war, no more civilian casualties and the freest (non-Israeli) government in the Middle East, if not the Muslim world. If that isn’t victory, then what would be?

Thanks to Art Hutchinson ’85 for the tip. Art writes:

I’m sorry, says former Clinton staffer David Shipley (an undergraduate classmate of mine, and now the New York Times’ Op-Ed editor), to John McCain (in effect), we’re not letting you have access to our paper unless you refrain from refuting lies or pointing out hard truths. Come back when you soften your points, agree with us… and promise not to make our candidate, Senator Obama, look quite so bad.

Even if the Times does publish McCain’s piece, or something like it at a later date, they have blunted the special impact it would have right now, while Obama is traveling in the region.

The word ‘media’ means, in effect, mediator. They are supposed to be — and more importantly, claim to be — unbiased transmitters of news, not partisans active in shaping its course. At a time when Congress is threatening to bring back the so-called Fairness Doctrine to the one sphere dominated by conservatives (radio), it is especially irksome to see such a blatant illustration of bias in print.

The Times’ owners and editors can do whatever they want with their paper. What they can’t do is make editorial decisions like this and simultaneously claim the moral high ground of even-handedness.

Indeed.

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